Working with the Engineer

Trip Start Feb 20, 2013
Trip End May 09, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Friday, February 22, 2013

Hello Everyone,

I started my day early today, breakfast at 6 am and then I headed to the attorney's home who is working on the project with me. He gave us a list of documents to retrieve and we were on our way. We stopped out in Cangumbang and were happy to see the flooding had subsided quite a bit. We were able to speak with the landowner, and give her, her own list of documents to find.

We went to the local municipal office, similar to a township hall in the U.S., which is temporarily located in the local gym. The record keeping in the Philippines amazes me; all of the documents are in paper form bound in large binders. I can’t believe how quickly, and easily, they found the documents we needed. Especially since they are in a temporary location, I can't imagine what it was like to move all the hard copies of documents dating over 30 years back or older.

Our next step is to meet with our attorney again, hopefully on Monday, in the company of the landowner to ensure we have all the needed documents to go through with purchasing the land and paying the back taxes.

I had a few hours off in the afternoon before we met with the project contractor at 1:30 pm. The meeting with the contractor was extremely helpful in truly planning out the center and prioritizing the essential components. He has suggested quite a few revisions to the very rough first draft created by the former director, and it was exciting to see actual physical plans. I will upload them as soon as I can, although we revised even more today.

Originally it was planned to construct the center mostly out of plywood and amocan (weaved bamboo). However, we have decided that it would be more useful to make the center out of cement as it will be more durable and last a longer period. Building this center is so important to me, and I would never want to see it fall apart in a few years after all this hard work. 

The center will sit on ten cement stilts. 3 meters tall, which will most definitely keep the residents out of the flood waters. We will build the stilts then the floor and then the roof to ensure the most important parts are available as soon as possible. There is so much information I gathered today I will have to share more next time. We will meet with the engineer again next week to look over a second draft and try to approve the plan, so we can submit a building permit.

I am so thankful for the hard work of Ate Wim, VFV's new director, today was her day off and she still attended the meetings with me. She is so dedicated to her work, as am I so I have no doubt this project will be a success if we continue to be patient and do everything the right way :)

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Mark Tang on

I am your biggest fan. Keep up the good work.

Suzy on

I think there is a whole fan club... :)

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